What ISN'T Corn In?

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Thought for Food - Donna Simpson, Le Whif & Cat Litter
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When has food gotten so cheap to produce that we can afford to make household goods with food- corn to be exact?

Corn is a highly subsidized commodity. In 2006 alone, $4,920,813,719 was given to corn growers for federal assistance. The government subsidizes a number of crops like cotton, rice, wheat, and soybean. However, corn has been the top recipient of these subsidies. In the past 12 years, taxpayers (US!) have given $56 billion to subsidize corn. This is an impressive number considering how little actual corn Americans eat!  Much of the corn is processed and given to chicken, pigs, turkey, lamb, steers, and fish as feed. Other products that may contain "hidden corn" include soups, ketchup, cake mixes, frozen yogurt, cereal, hot dogs, and supplements. Aside from edible items, corn can also be found in cosmetics, trash bags, cleaners, and even the shiny glossy covers of magazines. I suppose it was only a matter of time when someone figures out how to make kitty litter from corn. 

Watch the clip and let Stephen Colbert elucidate you on edible kitty litter (starts at the 3:25 mark) in his "Thought for Food" segment.

P.S. A snippet on Donna Simpson and Le Whif precede the edible kitty litter. 


Delwin Leung said...

wow...what a waste.

Jaime said...

Toby actually tried this product over a year ago and it's so unnatural that he didn't know what to do with it. I had to put clay litter on top because he stopped using the litter box. Not even the kitties are buying into it.

Elizabeth Lee said...

The most ironic thing is how unnatural corn kitty litter is even though unadulterated corn is as natural as it gets. I would think the government would start redirecting its subsidies now that we have nothing else better to do with food.

Court said...

Hey Eliz, where do you get your stats from? You should include food notes or something or maybe email them to your Number One Reader Courtney Moore (even more than Delwin!), because I always find myself wanting to read more!

Court said...

FOOD NOTES? total Freudian slip there. (I of course was wondering if the stat came from Pollan or elsewhere).

Elizabeth Lee said...

@ Court: You can call footnotes as foodnotes here. I got the stats from the Environmental Working Group. Here's the address for a wealth of info on subsidies: http://farm.ewg.org/farm/index.php?key=nosign

Terry said...

The corn producers have great lobbiests. If I remember correctly, they sell corn to Mexico for less than even they can afford to produce it. And why not, they are subsidized so heavily that they can afford to make non food products out of it.

Elizabeth Lee said...

@ Terry: A lot of major commodity crops have large lobby groups behind them which makes it hard to pass regulations that regulate the industry. There's definitely a lack of transparency between some farmers, lobbyists, and the government.

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